Zinedine Zidane is likely to make some tweaks to his Real Madrid side that will take on Real Betis at Estadio Benito Villamarin on Sunday night.
Real Madrid will look to close down the gap to third-placed Valencia on the La Liga table, when they face off against Real Betis at the Estadio Benito Villamarin on Sunday.
Los Blancos have had an impressive last week, in which they defeated Real Sociedad 5-2 in the Spanish top division, before enjoying a 3-1 victory over European heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League. And manager Zinedine Zidane will be hoping to further extend this good run of form against Betis, away from home.
Coming into the game, Real Madrid have been dealt a major injury blow, as midfielder Toni Kroos has been ruled out of the game due to a knee injury he picked up in the win over PSG, while defender Jesus Vallejo will also miss out with a muscular problem.
Dani Carvajal, who served out a suspension in the midweek European clash, will be back in contention for selection. The Spaniard is expected to come in at right-back, while there is a good chance the manager might opt to rest Marcelo, handing a start to Theo Hernandez at left-back.
In goal, Costa Rican international Keylor Navas is expected to keep his place in the starting XI to try and keep out the Betis attackers from scoring. At the heart of the defence, it will be the Spanish duo of Nacho and captain Sergio Ramos for the Galacticos, with Raphael Varane dropping out.
With the injury to Kroos, there is likely to be a tweak in the system for Madrid, with Zidane likely to go in with a traditional 4-4-2 for the game, which would mean Luka Modric and Casemiro will occupy the two central midfield slots, flanked by the extremely impressive Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio on the right and the left sides respectively.
Both the youngsters made an impact from the bench against PSG and will be hoping to put on a strong showing on Sunday. Gareth Bale, who was not part of the starting XI against PSG in the midweek, could be in for a recall, the manager hinted in his pre-match press conference.
“It was a decision that was made and what I want is for all of them to be ready and they were the other night. I wanted to set up in a diamond because I thought that was the best way to play against PSG. We’ve got a lot of games coming up and I’ll need to call on all of them.”
This would mean Karim Benzema is likely to be left out after his poor display in the midweek fixture, despite his impressive goal-scoring exploits at the Benito Villamarin, where he has scored in all of his last three visits.
Bale will be partnered by Madrid’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo at the tip of the attack. The Portuguese maverick has found his mojo in recent weeks and has scored five goals in his last two games in all competitions. Zidane will once again be counting on him to make a difference.